Monday, January 12, 2009

Homemade First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is important to treat minor injuries. A homemade, multi-purpose first aid kit can be used for the home, your car, at work, and when traveling. The cost is generally not much more than a ready made first aid kit which generally has limited amounts of useful items in smaller packages. Although more expensive than some pre-made First Aid Kits, you can purchase quality first aid items and have extra items to spare. Here is a list of suggested items for a homemade First Aid Kit.

First Aid Kit Accessories

1 Pair of scissors
1 Pair of tweezers
1 Self-Adhesive Wrap (Coban)
1 Package of safety pins
1 Small box of cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
1 Package of moist towelettes
1 Lighter or pack of matches
1 Small bottle of hand sanitizer (alcohol-base)
1 Small jar of petroleum jelly
1 Small mirror

Bandages for a First Aid Kit

1 Box of assorted size Band-Aids
1 Box of medium gauze pads
1 Box of large gauze pads
2 Rolls of gauze
1 Box of medium size non-stick bandage pads
2 Rolls of first aid tape (preferably waterproof)
1 Box of eye pads

Over The Counter Medications for a First Aid Kit

1 Small bottle of Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
1 Small bottle of Ibuprofen (Advil)
1 Box of sinus/nasal decongestant tablets (Sudafed)
1 Small package of cough drops
1 Small package of throat lozenges
1 Box or package of anti-diarrheal tablets (Imodium)
1 Box or package of stomach relief tablets (Pepto-Bismol)

Ointments and Creams for a First Aid Kit

1 Small tube of hydrocortisone ointment or cream
1 Small tube of antibiotic ointment
1 Small tube of analgesic cream
1 Small bottle of insect sting or bite relief

Miscellaneous Items for a First Aid Kit

1 Bottle of eye drops
1 Bottle of ear drops
2 Pairs of latex or nitrile gloves
1 Package of moleskin for blisters
2 Feminine hygiene pads for emergency bandages
2 Rolls of elastic bandages - 1 large and 1 medium
1 Large piece of cloth suitable for making an arm sling
1 First Aid Manual

Add any other items that you have found a need for but were lacking in your first aid kit. The contents can be put inside a small tool box or carry bag. Use whatever you have handy. Make sure to label it with a marker as a first aid kit.

Important Cautions

1.) Make sure you are aware of the expiration dates for your first aid items.
2.) Make sure you keep your first aid kit up-to-date.

Even though replacing items that have been used takes time and will cost you money, you can’t put a price on your ability to treat minor illnesses and injuries before they become major problems.

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few thing's to add. Hydrogen peroxide. Ace bandage's. Rubbing alchohol. I'll add as I think of them!
Dean

cb said...

I'd recommend iodine over hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide generally acts as an anticoagulant, meaning if you use it to clean a bleeding wound (think a semi-deep cut, not something like a scrape) it likely won't stop bleeding. Iodine will clean the wound just as well while allowing the bleeding to stop at a normal rate.

I cut my finger rather deeply and used hydrogen peroxide to clean it before bandaging. When it bled all night and into the next morning, I decided to go see a doctor. She almost slapped me when I told her I used hydrogen peroxide. She sent me home with a bottle of iodine and fresh bandages.

riverwalker said...

To: Dean

Ace bandages are similar to elastic bandages and hand sanitizer to sterilize items is on the list, H2O2 is a personal choice, which I have in my personal kit. Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: cb

The best choice for cleansing wounds is distilled water. H2O2 can cause problems for some types of injuries. Many persons are also allergic to iodine and can't use it. My wife is extremely allergic to iodine and as such keep none in the house to avoid possible complications. Thanks.

RW

Anonymous said...

you forgot benadryl tablets and cream.

Machinist said...

A thoughtful and practical post as usual. While individual items are always subject to personal preference I think you have covered it well. In my own kits I do like to include razor blades and some parachute cord or equivalent for bindings, lacing, tourniquets, or similar uses. You might have these covered in other areas but I like at least some with the kit. Tongue depressors or similar are useful for small splints, applicators and such. A small light and a magnifier are frequently used as well.

Grumpyunk said...

H2O2 is ok for wounds if used in a 50/50 mix with water. Many surgeons I work with recommend it this way.

One thing about H2O2 is this - Once you open it, it has a very short effective lifespan as it wants to give up one of the O molecules and becomes H2O.
Recapping it quickly will help. Leave the cap off for any length of time and you will end up with a bottle of more water than anything.

Most full size female sanitary napkins - Kotex, will absorb up to 500cc of blood. Cheap and effective field dressing in a pinch.

Brick said...

For multipurpose use...a small travel size bottle of mouthwash. Most mouthwashes are just alcohol based antiseptics. Poured directly, it can serve as a field expedient sterilization method, minor wound treatment, urushiol (poison oak/ivy/sumac) treatment if wetted on a clean cloth then disposed of, as well as its oral benefits, some mouthwashes are flammable and could double as a makeshift accelerant.

As well as above, many tiny "spray/spritz" versions are highly flammable and are effective if only temporary eye irritants.

riverwalker said...

To: Machinist

Excellent idea about splints and a light. Would be good for minor injuries or getting caught in the dark.
Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Grumpyunk

That's great to know that the H2O2 can be diluted for use. Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

If you have allergy problems, hydrocortisone cream might not be sufficient. Gppd tip about the benadryl and anti-itch cream. Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Brick

Great tip about the mouthwash! Any item with multiple uses is a great item. Thanks.

RW

Machinist said...

As my eyes get older I find the light and magnifier useful for dealing with slivers, stings, thorns, etc. The light is important for looking into eyes, ears, mouth, etc. I carry compact but powerful lights but a small one works for the kit. Some are smaller than a AAA battery but very useful.

riverwalker said...

To: Machinist

I have the little LED keychain lights in my mini first aid kits. Need to add a light to the bigger kit. Thanks.

RW

PKS said...

Good list.

Also, in my ideal SHTF first aid kit, I wouldn't mind having some surgical sutures. Not impossible to get, and sure, not ideal to use if you're not a nurse/paramedic/doctor, but if your buddy or family member has bleeding you can't stop with a bandage, better than nothing.

What I'd really like to get a hold of also would be freeze-dried plasma, long-term-storage antibiotics, and (wishful thinking in an age of drug wars, I know) some sort of morphine/opiate painkiller.

A battlefield surgeon will tell you it's plasma, morphine, and antibiotics that are the most essential.

riverwalker said...

To: PKS

Something to take note of if there are friends or family with medical skills...lotsof additional more advanced supplies would be great!

Access to drugs is fairly limited by law. Hate to be on the wrong side of the law over what are probably "prescription" type meds. You probably wouldn't want to have anything you don't have a Rx for in your kit, Thanks.

RW

Natog said...

I added witch hazel for posion ivy, vinegar for CS gas, and I sealed the pills in little individual packets with my foodsaver. I have individual doses of antibacterial and iodine swabs I got online somewhere.

I'd like to add moleskin to mine but that stuff is expensive.

Jennersen said...

You forgot trauma bandages and tourniquets! Just playing most people do not bother with chest sucking wound stuff, but lately I decided bandaids are covered so time to add more advanced, albeit needed possibly not at all, stuff. Then again I remember reading Boy's Life (the boy scout magazine?) and they had stories about a kid losing an arm in a combine harvester and using their SAK and belt to keep them alive until helped arrived. So trauma gear is not just for gun shots in my view.

And no I do not play around combine harvesters. ;)

lopan said...

This is the best first aid list I have seen.
Batteries. The first thing to go in an emergency are batteries. Most last up to 5 years. AA and AAA's are used in almost every small flashlight known.
I take old hard drives apart and use the platters as emergency mirrors. (Not the glass ones). I also keep a weeks worth of meds for the family in safe spot.

riverwalker said...

To: Natog

Witch hazel for poison ivy & vinegar for CS gas...these are good things! Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: Jennersen

I listed the feminine pads for a trauma bandage of sorts but should have included some cord or tubing for a torniquet. I would use a belt or a bandana if nothing else was available. Probably need to do a post on an advanced type trauma kit. Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

Tu: lopan

I keep both the re-chareables and regulars. Have solar and 12 volt setups for recharging the batteries. Neat trick about using the mirrors fromm old computers.
Thanks.

RW

BTW, Glad you liked the FAK list!

Grumpyunk said...

For CS gas - Mayonnaise works well for removal on the skin and "Baby Shampoo" for the eyes. A State Trooper taught me that.

riverwalker said...

To: Grumpyunk

Great tips! Thanks.

RW

Lweson said...

I use a big double sided fishing tackle box for my home first aid kit. I also use the smaller ones for car FAKs. One side for common first aid stuff and the other for my "Hope I never have to use it" stuff.

I also use an expiration list thats right on top so I do not have to ransack my kit looking for dates.

riverwalker said...

To: Lweson

I use a medium size tool box for my large home kit. Have additional car kits plus what I call the glove box mini-kits for fast and easy access. I got way too much fishing gear and all my tackle boes are full of tackle or my other "junk". Thanks.

RW

Shreela said...

Great list RW! Someone mentioned vinegar; we use it for minor bites like ant and mosquitoes.

I get splinters out better with a sharp needle than I do with tweezers. The 99C(cents) store carries reading glasses for 99c. Get a few pairs in the strength to help you read (if needed), plus get some stronger for hands-free magnifying. And spare reading glasses always come in handy at offices, unless only young people work there 8^)

riverwalker said...

To: Shreela

Thanks. That is one of the great things about making your own first aid kit. You can add those items that you have found useful and make a good first aid kit even better.

RW

Anonymous said...

I also keep a knife and compass. I hike and where i live it's required by law to have a knife, matches and a compass if in the woods. I also keepa tension bandage for sprains. And soap, to wash if near a stream. I keep mine in my backpack and keep it handy at all times

first aid said...

nice post..

First Aid Rob said...

Think its great you included first aid manual, simple but often overlooked. Cheers Rob

Steve Smith said...

i have listed a bunch of common medical equipments found at home
such as manometer and more that a scout would normally use not only at home but also outdoor.

Anonymous said...

Be very careful with peroxide. It can cause damage to the skin on a cellular level and can prolong healing. I don't think it has any place in a first aid kit.

dale said...

id recommend having a small ice chest or some other small cooler with leeches for blood thinners and poison control.

Anonymous said...

What about canyenne pepper? I help a couple of people to survive through heart attacks. 1/2 tsp canyenne pepper in glas of hot water. Ground black pepper to stop bleeding. Vanilla extract for burns. Raw onion juice on bee stings or antihistamine. Cough syrup- sliced onions and yellow sugar mix, let it stand 3 days. Drain the syrup and put in clean glas bottle. Love from South Africa. Alette

Anonymous said...

i would aviod bathing or brushing you teeth in water in a river, stream lake ect. because many harmful deseases and bacteria may inhabite there. my aunt got hepatitis from bathing and brushing her teeth in the frio river. also if you make a fire you can boil water to get rid of any toxic contamints you can let the water cool before you drink eat cook or aply first aid with it. if you do consume the unboiled water you come down with a sickness that can not be treated where you are and you could die. also smoke from fires will repel moskitos and other harmful deases carring insects bay leaf is also used for this. kelp can be eaten to keep out infection although you may want to take them as vitamen or pill form beacuse the herb it quite unpleasent. if you toss a tire into a fire it will create black smoke and you will be easeir to spot if you are lost. aloe vera is one of natuars antiseptics cut it open and use as a gel it also helps for burns. in the cook islands they use the stem of the seama rupa to keep out infection

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the helpful list! My contribution: Maalox is a great antidote to pepper spray...put it in a spray bottle so you can spray in your eyes if needed.

Ryan Zombie - USA said...

It's a nice list but knowledge in CPR is also important. The First Aid manual will be useless in a life-threatening situation such as a heart attack where every second counts.

Be the one said...

your car, at work, and when traveling. The cost is generally not much more than a ready made first aid kit which generally has limited amounts of useful items in smaller packages. Although more expensive than some pre-made First Aid Kits, you can purchase quality first aid items and have extra items to spare.

emergency first aid at work

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